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Collection Jenny Lind Chapel (Andover, Ill.) records
Collection Number I/O:1
Dates of Creation 1850-1874, 1943 (bulk 1850-1861)
Extent of Description 1 box (.25 linear feet), plus 18 oversized architectural drawings
Language Swedish (bulk), English
Creator Jenny Lind Chapel (Andover, Ill.)
Other Creators Jenny Lind Chapel (Andover, Ill.)
Esbjörn, Lars Paul, 1808-1870
Inn, Wintram A.
Ulricson, Charles, 1816-1887
Search Terms Jenny Lind Chapel (Andover, Ill.)
Andover (Ill.)
Architectural drawings
Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod of North America
Lutheran Church--Illinois--Andover
Lutheran church buildings
Augustana Lutheran Church (Andover, Ill.)
Access Conditions Collection is open for research.
Copyrights Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the Swenson Center and the copyright holder.
Related units of description I/O:8 Jenny Lind Chapel Committee (Andover. Ill.) records; SAC P:29 Hortence Lindorff papers; MSS P:310 Glen E. Brolander papers; MSS P:10 Birger Swenson papers.
Administrative or Biographical History Jenny Lind Chapel is the oldest Swedish Lutheran church in Illinois, known as the "Mother Church" of the Augustana Synod. Swedish immigrant Lars Paul Esbjörn and ten charter members founded the congregation in 1850. The first church structure was built between 1851 and 1854. Esbjörn traveled the eastern United States to petition for money to build the church. Jenny Lind, the famous 19th century "Swedish Nightingale" singer, was on tour in America at that time. She met Esbjörn and donated $1,500 to fund church construction. Esbjörn would later become the first president of Augustana College.

The church was dedicated on Advent Sunday, December 3, 1854. Construction was slow due to poor weather conditions and the cholera epidemic. The church has no steeple because the wood was instead needed for coffins for the cholera victims. The congregation quickly grew and, in 1867, work began on the new Augustana Lutheran Church about a block away. In 1870, the congregation moved to this new building and the Jenny Lind Chapel continued to be used for various church functions. The small church was named Jenny Lind Chapel in 1948. Today, the Jenny Lind Chapel is on the National Register of Historic Places, houses a museum, and hosts special events throughout the year under the direction of the Jenny Lind Chapel Operating Committee. The Augustana Lutheran Church serves as a community church for Andover and the surrounding area.
Scope & Content This collection includes some of the earliest records of the Jenny Lind Chapel of Andover, Illinois, including minutes recorded by Lars Paul Esbjörn and others. Also includes an alphabetical index to church membership of the 1850s and communion records from 1859-1861.

Collection contains architectural drawings of both the Jenny Lind Chapel and Augustana Lutheran Church in Andover, Illinois. One Jenny Lind Chapel architectural drawing by A. Wintram Inn of 113 3rd Avenue (town not indicated). Drawing shows front, side, and floor plans of first story and basement. Pen over pencil on paper. No date, but likely ca. 1850-51. Seventeen sketches and architectural drawings of Augustana Lutheran Church (Andover, Ill.) by Charles Ulricson, architect, Peoria, Illinois. No date, but likely ca. 1867.
System of arrangement Original system of arrangement unknown, but maintained. Architectural drawings are oversized and stored separately.
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